In John chapter 8, Jesus disputes with the Jewish leaders over His and their identities. The Jewish leaders accuse Jesus of being a Samaritan and demon-possessed. This accusation is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Telling Jesus to His face that He and His works are from the Devil is the original offense.
Jesus tells the scribes and
Pharisees that He is from His Father above and they are of their father, the devil. Needless to say, these men are not pleased and they immediately claim that Abraham is their father. Jesus points out that Abraham would never try to kill Him but would rejoice to see Him. Then He drives them over the edge when He says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” (John 8:51 NIV)
Unknowingly, the Jewish opposition asks two important questions, “Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” (John 8:53 NIV)
The answers to these questions are very important. First, Jesus is greater than Abraham. “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58 NIV) This puts Jesus at the scene of another famous incident in Jewish history with Moses in the burning bush.
Jesus shouldn’t have had to answer the second question. Throughout this dispute, He has repeatedly told them that God is His Father. But I love the way He makes His point in John 8:55, “Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word.” Jesus, in a moment of eloquent justice, says that if He denies His true identity, he would be lying – like His antagonists who claim to know God while He is standing right in front of them, unrecognized.
Have you ever been asked, “Just who do you think you are?” This text should make it clear that a child of God must:
- Recognize Jesus as the Son of God
- Hear and obey God’s Word
I pray that you are able to answer the question with “A child of God”.